A scrum down between Bennington (l) and Rutland (r) in the
Roosters second match of the day, which resulted in a Bennington
WEST RUTLAND - The Framingham Exiles Rugby Club walked away with
the trophy to the fifth annual Marble Valley Invitational (MVI), a
tournament hosted by Rutland Roosters Rugby Club last Saturday, May
4, in West Rutland.
At the fifth installment of the MVI the six teams from
Framingham, MA, Bennington, Vt., Keene, NH, Utica, NY, Ludlow, Vt.,
and Rutland, Vt. matched up against one another for a full day of
rugby from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"I think it was the best turnout we've had yet," said Matt
"Beast" Pennington, the president of the Rutland Roosters. "I think
we did well. Obviously not the result you'd want, but it's a credit
to everyone there. There were no blowouts. It was balanced all day,
which is rare when you get that many teams together," he said. "You
never know if there is going to be a ringer, but we were all on
Eventual tournament winners, Framingham (black and red) were
aggressive in attack, and strong in defense against all challengers
on the day.
Rutland came out strong against Black River in a shut out
victory of 12-0 with rookie Charles Whittemore scoring his first
try and a crash in the second half resulting in Keith "Crazy"
Duncan putting in the second try.
Their second match pitted the Roosters against Bennington
Battle, the reigning MVI champions. Evenly matched, the game went
scoreless until just before the end of the first half when
Bennington capitalized on a turnover by Rutland within their own
22-meter line and Cameron Bundy touched it down to bring the score
to 5-0. Despite a few successful phases of play and relentless
pressure from the Rutland, Bennington was able to hold them
scoreless, and forcing the Roosters into third place.
Bennington went on to beat Black River 18-5 in their second
game, advancing them to the championship match. "I thought we did
well. It was a lot of hard rugby. Our back line was as dangerous as
ever and we felt strong against all the teams. It was just plain
good physical rugby," said Bennington vice president and hooker
Josh Bull on their overall performance.
Meanwhile, the Framingham Exiles defeated Monadnock 15-5 in
their first match and beat Utica 24-7 to advance them to the finals
against Bennington. Under 30 minutes after their win over Utica the
Exiles took the field again against Bennington and handed them a
defeat as well to the tune of 13-7.
Tournament usuals, Monadnock (white, green and purple) had a
good showing against a Utica team that had reached the final match
After the final match, teams met up at Rutland's Griffin Publick
House where man-of-the-match awards were given out to one player
from each team who performed exemplary throughout the day.
Freshman Castleton State College rugby player Nate Dupras, who
just last year learned to play rugby with the Roosters, was
recognized by his Rutland teammates for his role at prop. "I
thought it was cool to come out and play with the guys who taught
me how to play," said Dupras. "I got to show them how much I
Co-founder of the MVI Thomas Edwards was pleased with the how
the tradition of the tournament was moving forward. Citing good
weather, a nice crowd of supporters, enthusiastic teams and overall
good sportsmanship, Edwards described Saturday's rugby day as "a
Photos by Jamie Baker Photography